AMHERST – Since first taking the stage more than 40 years ago, Matt Minglewood has performed a multitude of songs and musical genres.
Over that time he’s also come to love a number of Christmas tunes that he’s taking on tour throughout the Maritimes. The Mingle Bells Tour is coming to Amherst on Wednesday at the Tantramar Theatre.
This is the first time Minglewood has performed a Christmas-themed show. The show will highlight some relatively unknown Christmas songs as well as some traditional tunes, along with some penned by Minglewood himself.
Joining him on guitar, manolin, pedal steel and bass will be Dave McKeough.
“You won’t be hearing a lot of ‘O Holy Night’,” Minglewood said Monday. “You will hear a number of Christmas songs along with a few songs that I’ve written that have a Christmas story that goes with them.”
Minglewood said he has written and performed a number of Christmas-themed songs since his career started in 1966, and has often thought about some day putting out a Christmas album – something he still hasn’t ruled out.
This year, Minglewood thought about going out on the road to perform those Christmas tunes he has come to love over the years.
“We’ve been thinking of a Christmas album for quite some time, but we decided let’s do a Christmas tour first to see how it goes,” said Minglewood, adding the tour has gone very well to date with stops several small towns around the region. “We’ve done seven shows and have about six left. They’ve been well received and sold out.”
This will be Minglewood’s third trip to Tantramar Theatre. The veteran musician said he loves to perform in the historic former post office, adding it’s a great atmosphere for his show.
“I know I always have good crowds there and the people seem to enjoy it,” he said. “It’s a great place to perform.”
As he approaches age 65, Minglewood said he has no plans to retire. He said playing music is therapeutic for his mind.
“I’m not fond of the traveling as much as I was before, but once I get there are start playing it’s fun. I enjoy playing with Dave, we have a lot of fun and we keep it loose,” Minglewood said of his partner on the Mingle Bells tour. “It’s fun to do.”
Promoter and Tantramar Theatre manager George Douglas said he’s thrilled to have Minglewood returning to Amherst.
“He has always been one of our more popular shows,” Douglas said. “He puts on an amazing show and he’s someone who has many younger fans and older fans as well.”
Douglas said Minglewood is just the latest east coast award winning performing to bring shows to the theatre.